We hear loads about blogging’s role in growing email databases. Indeed, a well executed blog, with regularly updated, relevant content is key.
A less discussed, but important, factor is the blog comments section. Intuitively it makes sense. People who take the time to comment likely care (at least a little) about your blog and what you have to say.
Here are some tips on using your blog’s comments section to grow your email database:
First and foremost create an opt-in box that allows blog commenters to become blog subscribers. It’s not wise to automatically make every commenter a subscriber. Give people the choice.
Keep the form short and user friendly: Keep the comment form as short and simple as possible. Leaving a comment on a post should not require an advanced degree from Harvard. Comments are different from offers. With an offer people are more willing to fill out several fields since they are getting something in return. With comments the tables are turned: they are a case of readers adding value to your blog.
Customize your form: The fields in a comment form should be simple, but you can personalize them in a number ways. It’s not about making things more complicated but rather more tailored. So, if you sell to a French audience your form might say “nom” instead of “name.”
Convert subscribers into leads: Readers who have subscribed to your blog by checking an opt-in box when leaving a comment are not leads (yet). Before sending out promotional material, your next step should be to convert these subscribers into leads. This means inserting relevant calls to action and offers into the materials blog subscribers receive. So, if you’ve written a post on Facebook page optimization, maybe include an offer to download an ebook on Facebook marketing in the post.
Nurture the leads: A top-of-the-funnel ebook download does not indicate sales readiness. Spend some more time nurturing the leads you obtain from CTAs before turning them over to the sales department. CTAs will help you segregate your readers by lifecycle stage. Taking the above example forward, you know which subscribers have downloaded your e-book or whitepaper. You can then create content that will motivate them to move to the next level of the purchase cycle, which could be a sales-centric offer like a live demo. After this next interaction, you can share the contact details with the sales team.